Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Buzz Busby visits Red Lion Gallery in a sort of Second Life. That is to say there is a photograph. Previously attempts to get permission to set up photographs or video have met with some problems so Second Life has some benefits although there are costs in actual land. I realise this has been explained before but there are gaps in this blog so sometimes a recap is required for new readers. Mixing the avatars and actual photos is one approach till a budget arrives for Exeter TV and / or Rougemont Global Broadcasting. then there may be an island or some studio time. Meanwhile the RGB reporters are just for the photos.

The questions remain much the same, how do creatives adjust for digital technology. How to present, how to promote, is there a business model? For example, several images are available on the web for the Exeter Open Studios (7-9 November) which is good in itself and may also help to lift the prices for the postcard auction. There is a difference with hard copy, even a postcard so my guess is that the value of the original is not harmed by a reasonable definition of the image online. This is something to discuss later on.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Think local, act online or something like that.

I have done a rave about the Guardian, trying to establish that the Web is ok. Jeff Jarvis is about the most sense in a sea of evasion.

For example, headline for Roy Greenslade

Which regional group will collapse first?

But is there anything in the text to answer the question? Not that I can find.

In Exeter we have already lost all print production to Plymouth so it is hard to imagine how production costs could fall any further.

If there is a problem with regional news, then the role of bloggers, citizen journalists, YouTube experiments etc should be part of the discussion in my honest opinion. I tried to video the icerink last year for Exeter TV but was told that Exeter City council had arranged exclusive image rights with the Express and Echo. If regional news groups really do have problems there is room for some discussion here on how Web video could develop.

Meanwhile Michael Grade has warned that even national news may be a problem unless ITV can be given some more money.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Photos from the Wilton Music Hall did not come out well, not enough light. So i have started to try out ways of changing them in Photoshop. Elements 2 that is, nothing very complicated. There is a show by Christiane Baumgartner coming up at Spacex in December. She works on woodcuts from video stills. I will try to persuade others to do some experiments. I think there is an online space alongside galleries. See also her current show in London and a video interview. There could be more interviews in a gallery. Actually this one has no questions but it makes a point.

Rotherhithe Tunnel is now closed to pedestrians. I found this out during the Open house weekend. My information that it was open was based on a walk by a friend on the occasion of the celebrations for the hundred years since it started. Maybe there is no notice on the south approach. Not sure about this. I did meet people during the weekend who were not convinced about the air quality but others can remember times when walking through was possible and frequent.

If you a wondering what this has to do with Exeter, the thing is that "wifi" now covers a wide range. the "open house" approach is in Exeter one weekend, somewhere else the next. see story for OhmyNews.

It also turned out that the Brunel tunnel was closed. This line will be part of the Overground, not the Underground and could be seen as an extension of the North London Line. Someone from London could explain this better, I can only repeat what I was told.

I still think a crossing of the Thames is useful at this point. Walking a bit further East than Tower Bridge is possible but Greenwich is a long way if you want to get back again. Apparently by 2010 it will be again possible to get a train from Rotherhithe to Wapping. So investigations continue about the rest of the loop.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Sony Reader story submitted for Ohmynews

Yet to be edited, but here is a link

Still checking it out. there is a sort of keyboard when you change the date and time. The numbers on the side work as numbers. So simple forms or questions would be possible. Or ASCII codes to specify letters and about four words a minute. No, this device is about reading. So far this seems ok, I can find another instance of the document on another device if I want to edit.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sony Reader arrives in Exeter

As predicted, both Waterstones have stocks of the Sony Reader. Not much excitement though. There were no queues, no special events. The Apple Store would have made a bit more of it I think but maybe consumer electronics is a bit unusual for a bookshop.

Other e-book readers are available, but not in Exeter shops. The Amazon Kindle is not expected anytime soon outside the USA. It is pretty much a mobile phone so loading files in is fairly easy. After a few hours trial at Life Bytes I find that downloading titles is not too hard. The Adobe Digital Editions library shows the Sony Reader in the Libary where "drag and drop" works ok. There is also eBook Library software supplied by Sony with similar functions, also a Reader for the content that works on the computer.

The Sony sortware is only for Windows. Also there is no credit I can find for Linux, though the Wikipedia claims that is what the Sony Reader is using. The impression is that the complexity is all in the loading of content. The Reader itself just runs. There is a well hidden hole in the back for a reset, something we will never need.

I was worried about how to create an ePUB file but it turns out that (Rich Text Format) RTF works ok. The public information states that Word files are accepted but it seems they are translated to RTF. I saved some text from Open Office
as RTF and it displays ok. It would still be good to find out more abouthow to go from open documents to ePUB. But meanwhile PDF is ok for the Digital Editions on most computers and RTF is ok for the Reader. Sorry if the words are overlapping in meaning. It may make more sense later.

WHSmith are stocking the iLiad online but no promotion in the Exeter shop. This has wifi like the Kindle and also a keyboard. It is useful to make notes on a text or order more titles but at the moment the Sony Reader seems ok just as a Reader. The only interaction I have found is the option to add a bookmark. There could be notes added on another device later.

Also it works for sound and viewing photos. The greyscale is lacking something but it will be interesting to see what combinations become available. The books could come with photos and sound.

These are still early days. There will be devices later with more direct links to wifi or whatever links to content. But this is an interesting phase. A laptop with wifi is enough to speed things up but it seems to go against the point of an e-book. I think I will next take just the Sony Reader and find out what they thnk at WHSmith, the Apple Store and the Phoenix. The Phoenix Arts Centre usually attracts Mac fans so I don't suppose they will like the Windows bias. Steve Jobs has suggested that eBooks will struggle as many people have moved on anyway to sound and video. The Sony Reader is mostly text in shades of greyso this may explain the limited interest.